I’ve finally figured out what’s happening. At 3 am this morning, I realized that my nocturnal binge eating was reminiscent of the problem I treated several of my patients for. My bet is that, if I had access to their charts, I would fit their profiles perfectly. Not only do I fit their profiles, I, too, have failed to control it!
Upon further analysis, it became apparent that my sleep disorder also fit the profile of many of my patients. Once again, I failed to alleviate their sleep issues despite multiple treatment interventions, just as I’ve failed to alleviate mine.
The list goes on. My persistent pain is no different than my chronic pain patients suffered with. My Parkinson’s is following the same course as my Parkinson’s patients did. My eating disorder has led to obesity which I am struggling to control. I counseled and treated large numbers of patients for depression. Now I’m getting a first-hand view of depression and its effects on all the other problems.
What I have finally realized is I have become a composite of my most difficult patients. Being a typical male, I asked myself why this has happened to me. I can hear myself telling countless patients, “It is what it is, now get on with it.” I’m getting on with it!
The real question is how to treat the conglomeration of problems I have. First and foremost is remembering who I used to be and working to hold on to that person. The only part of Stewart that still exists is his sense of humor (most of the time, at least). As I read back through this blog, I get a glimpse into the life I lived and the battle to come.
I am at war with the entity that currently inhabits my body. I look at me in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. The first thing I have to do is restore my self-image. As those of you who have fought obesity know, losing weight is a bitch. I know what didn’t work for my patients. I won’t take pain meds or sleepers as I’ve witnessed their abilities to addict and control my patients. I won’t go on fad diets. I will take bupropion, an anti-depressant, that can help with pain. I will follow my doctors’ advice and will keep in mind how frustrating it is to treat a train wreck such as myself. I will continue to read articles I wrote in the past and absorb as much of my advice as I can.
I want to thank those of you who have called and written. Your kind words and remembrance of Dr Segal are tremendously helpful.
I’ll be with my Renee, kids and grandchildren for Thanksgiving and I’m going to spend three weeks with my fraternity brothers in Mexico. I always feel better when I’m with them as they help remind me how blessed I am.
I expect to resume daily articles in January. Until then, I want to wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season!
Here’s today’s joke:
If I were to die first, would you remarry?” the wife asks.
“Well,” says the husband, “I’m in good health, so why not?”
“Would she live in my house?”
“It’s all paid up, so yes.”
“Would she drive my car?”
“It’s new, so yes.”
“Would she use my golf clubs?”
“No. She’s left-handed.”